Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter #1


September/October 2014 Newsletter

Editor: Dennis O’Connell is the new email address






Commander Carroll Prosser (SC), Phone (843) 997-1981


Senior vice Commander James Hogan (CA)

1st Junior vice Commander Terry Livingston (FL)

 2nd Junior vice Commander Charles Brooks (FL)

 3rd Vice Commander Ron Lester (AZ)

4th Junior vice Commander William Burgess (FL)

Judge Advocate Dennis O’Connell (NY)
Chaplain Rev. Tony Martino (IL), Phone 847 736 2111, email:

Adjutant/Treasurer Paul Kaminsky (FL) (also webmaster), Phone 904 291-0576

Immediate Past Commander Richard Bugbee (AZ)


PLEASE, if you know of any member who is sick or deceased inform one of the officers whose contact information is listed above ASAPP.



Greetings everyone,

   Hope each of you are doing well. The national blind chapter is doing well and we all look forward to a great year. Our next chance to talk to and express our opinions and the needs of veterans will be in February when we go to the winter conference in Washington. If anyone wishes to have any input into the legislative issues facing veterans, please get in touch with either Paul Kaminsky  or myself. Feel free to either e-mail me or call at (843) 997-1981 and we will do all that we can to get your views put out to our senators or congressperson. Please include your state and if possible, the names of the representative.   I wish each of you a beautiful fall season and a happy Thanksgiving.   Thank each of you for what you do for our veterans and their families, but a great big thank you to our caregivers that make it possible for blinded and visually impaired folks to function in our society.  If I can be of any assistance to you contact me at or at the phone number above.



1.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

2.  Sleep Apnea

3.  Diabetes Type II

4.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

5.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome

6.  Tinnitus

7.  Peripheral Neuropathy

8.  Depression

9.  Anxiety

10.  Various Skin Disorders



I was at the Ohio Veterans Home cemetery admiring all the hard work they put into cleaning up the rows and stones and notice several different markings. Some had crosses, some crosses with circles around them, others were just shields. Can you tell me what the differences mean? (Michelle in Sandusky)

Ohio Veterans Home spokesman Mike McKinney provided the following response: The answer is that the markings on the graves denote how the VA, and earlier federal veterans’ departments, depicted a veteran’s religious faith on their grave or, for earlier eras, the military unit in which they served. The VA, and its predecessors, had provided headstones for the graves of veterans dating back to the post-Civil War era. Veterans of World War II and later conflicts who professed a Christian faith had a cross placed on their headstone. The VA will also place symbols of other faiths on headstones. Currently, the VA’s website lists over 50 faith symbols. For veterans of the World War I era, or older veterans who died after the period of World War I, the Christian faith symbol was a cross inside a circle.

Veterans of the Civil War, wars in the western U.S., and the Spanish-American War, who passed away prior to World War I, had different markings on their headstones. In these cases, the headstones did not denote a religious faith. Part of the design of that era’s headstones includes a shield, within which is denoted the military unit the veteran was a part of during their service.

The graves at the Ohio Veterans Home Cemetery are the resting place of many of the home’s first residents – the veterans of the Civil War – up to veterans who lived there in recent years. A visitor will see these different markings represented in the cemetery.




Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google Inc. once again makes reading easier for the blind. The KNFB Reader for iOS is a joint development effort of Sensotecnv and K–NFB Reading Technology Inc. As expected from Ray Kurzweil, by harnessing the power of digital photography coupled with state of the art Apple hardware, this new app, tailored to the specific needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, makes access to print materials much faster and more efficient than ever. This fabulous, life-changing technology was presented before a presentation of Ray Kurzweil.

A web-link to a descriptive podcast is below the following text. In this podcast, Michael Hansen gives us a walk-through and demonstration ofKNFB Reader iOS, an app which allows blind or print-disabled users accurate and efficient access to printed text. Some of KNFB Reader's features include:

•Fast, accurate and efficient mobile text recognition that delivers near instantaneous results. 

•Reading modes for books, articles and labels, bills and memos.

•Synchronized text highlighting with high quality speech and Braille output. 

•Field of view report to assist with aligning the camera relative to the document. 

•Tilt guidance feature to assist with capturing the perfect picture of a document. 

•Automatic text detection to enable hands-free operation. 

•Ability to import, OCR, and read image-based pdf and jpg files.

•Export txt and html formatted text files to cloud storage services including Dropbox and Google Drive.

•Batch scan mode to process and read multiple pages. 

•Recognize and read text in multiple languages.

•Additional features including language translation, text editing, and more coming soon.


KNFB Reader is currently a $99 download in the App Store.

AppleVisPodcast600.mp3 (direct link):


Currently designed for the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. More information can be found at:




The Disabled American Veterans held their annual reunion during the DAV National Convention in Las Vegas, NV.   Friday, August 8, 2014. The Blind Veterans National Chapter #1 held its first business meeting at 9:00 am, and at 4:00 pm the second business meeting was held. Roll call of officers followed the opening invocation given by Rev. Tony Martino, and the Pledge led by Adjutant Paul Kaminsky. Officers present were Commander Carroll Prosser (SC), Sr. Vice Commander Jim Hogan (CA), 2nd Jr. Vice Bill Burgess (FL), 4th Jr. Vice Charles Brooks (FL), Judge Advocate Dennis O’Connell (NY), Chaplain Rev. Tony Martino (VI) and Adjutant/Treasurer Paul Kaminsky (FL). Delegates elected to represent the Blind Chapter included: Delegates: Dennis O’Connell, Charles Brooks, Tony Martino, Bill Burgess with Alternate Delegates: Ron Lester, Terry Livingston and Jim Hogan. Following the reading and approval of the previous reunions meeting minutes, the Treasurer’s Report was given. Following is the brief summary of the annual treasury report: Beginning Balance: $115,210.70; Income: Dues Per Capita: $392.25; Interest: $104.04; Donations: $8,097.00; Total Income: $8,593.29; Expenses: Conventions/Conferences/Seminars: ($10,770.02); Postage & Office Supplies: ($547.87); Service/Charitable: ($7,559.45); Installation Banquet: ($5,775.20); Total Expenses: ($24,652.54); Ending Balance: $99,151.45. By national Bylaws the Blind Chapter has been spending down to meet donation to income requirements. Expenses are donations to all 13 Blind Rehab Centers, the Winter Sports Clinic and the convention installation breakfast

During the business sessions two Resolutions were submitted. Resolution A requests that VA provide us blind veterans with proper training on assistive technology equipment issued to us by the VA.  The VA utilizes several occupational levels of training as identified in the Resolution. All too often these occupational positions lack knowledge of the equipment to which the VA has issued to the blind veteran. Resolution A request that the VA train and or maintain certification to ensure that there is a solid basic knowledge of the assistive technology equipment that the VA issues.  Resolution B concerns a lack of a safe mode of transportation for blind veterans to travel to and from their scheduled VA appointments. Both resolutions passed on the convention floor. Also noted was that for the fifth consecutive year the Chapter had met its membership goal and received a fifth flag pendant from National Headquarters. Commander Prosser assigned committee responsibilities to the following convention committees: General Resolutions; , Legislation & Vet Benefits, Constitution & Bylaws, Hospital and Voluntary Services, Nominations, and  Credentials. All Primary and Alternate attended all assigned committee meeting and all convention business meetings. The following individuals were elected or re-elected to the noted office position: Commander: Carroll Prosser (South Carolina) (Re-Elected), Sr. Vice:  James Hogan (California) (Re-Elected), 1st Jr. Vice:  Terry Livingston (Florida) (Elected), 2nd Jr. Vice: Charles Brooks (Florida) (Elected), 3rd Jr. Vice:  Ron Lester (Arizona) (Elected), 4th Jr. Vice:  Bill Burgess (Florida) (Elected), Judge Advocate:  Dennis O’Connell (New York) (Re-elected), Chaplin:  Rev. Anthony Martino (Wisconsin) (Re-elected) and Adjutant/Treasurer: Paul Kaminsky (Florida) (Re-elected). All officers were installed Monday August 11, 2014 during the Chapter’s Installation Breakfast.  Honored guest Past National Commander Wally Tyson conducted the oath of office ceremony.

The closing event of the DAV National Convention was an evening where we attended the presentation of our new National Officers, headed by our newly elected Commander for 2014-2015 Ron F. Hope (North Carolina). During this evening we had a very nice dinner followed by entertainment and a crowded dance floor. Plan next year to attend the 2015 National Convention, August 7 — 11, 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel Denver, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO  80202, Telephone 1.303.893.3333, $128 Single/Double.

Hope to see you next year!!